Obviously, marathon training translates into two-mile training, right? Especially Hanson's, where the fastest I've run in months is like 6:47 pace...
But this was a race I was going to run, no matter what. The race supports the Tulane cancer center prostate cancer research fund, and since I am at Tulane and many of my patients come from the cancer center, it's definitely a cause I wanted to support.
The race was held at 5pm on a Saturday, which was a kind of unusual time, but since it was only 2 mies I didn't have to try to think about eating before, etc. I just had a normal lunch and a snack of butter with toast (just being honest about ratios) at some point. The race is on Tulane's campus, so close that I jogged over to get my packet, jogged back to put my T-shirt away, and jogged back to the start. I also started to feel a little hungry, so I grabbed a peppermint to take at the starting line. But instead of eating candy, I decided to lose my shirt, so I spent the last few minutes at the start stashing my T-shirt and re-pinning my number on my jog bra. It was a nice day, but it was 85F at the start, and I was sweating. I had worn my Tulane running team shirt, but the last time I wore that for a hot race I was SO SORRY so I opted for jog bra instead.
Then we were off! I dashed out, and was about fourth female off the bat. Some of the girls were obviously overextended themselves, but one of them is usually about my speed, so I kept an eye on her. The course runs through the campus with about a hundred sharp turns. It's kind of crazy, especially since most of the turns are right at the beginning, when it's still crowded. I was surprised to be in such a crowd, even as I picked off all the women but one, and I kept glancing at my Garmin when I could. I was SO SLOW. I kept seeing 6:55, 6:40...what the heck?! Then, right as I passed the first woman, at 0.65 miles, I took a good look at my wrist and realized that I was looking at the wrong Garmin pace (I miss my 305's huge font!). I was looking at instant pace. My overall average pace was 5:55. HA. My goal heading in was 6:15 to 6:30 pace, so no, that was not a good start.
I groaned, slowed down, and waited for the fatigue to hit. The problem with marathon training is I've lost touch with faster paces. I did feel like it was more effort than I should be putting out, but I was way off the pace. This isn't the first time I've made this mistake, by the way, but in my defense I'd just reconfigured the data screens.
So anyway. No time to give in just because I started way too fast. I slowed down and twenty or more guys rushed past, but no women. I was in the lead, but I knew my friends Lauren and Kim were both behind me and I expected Lauren to pass me at some point. We're usually close in pace, and I knew I was going to be fried later. We hit mile one in 6:11, which means that mile was far too fast and I was toast. There is a turn-around a little after mile one, and I had about six seconds on Lauren. By then I was just hanging on and trying not to totally fall apart, but I slowed considerably. I was also tossing that stupid peppermint back and forth the whole time. Far be it from me to litter! The whole second mile was a struggle, and the few glances at my watch were rather grim. But as we turned the last corner, the course biker called out, "First female!". I just hoped I was alone.
I was: I headed for the finish line and slapped awkwardly into the finishing tape. 12:40, not pretty, but my first overall win in years!
And that's a good omen for next week's marathon, right?